As I am sure you have noticed, we have now reached the heart of summer’s heat. If you planned a wedding for the month of August or if you are planning a summer wedding in 2012, you may be questioning how you can ensure a pleasant experience for your wedding guests in this heat wave. You may not be able to change the weather, but you CAN prepare, even if last minute, for the current weather conditions. Here are some tips to beat the heat, courtesy of Wedding Star.
Planning Around the Sun While sunshine on your wedding day is a blessing – nothing can go wrong under the sun…or can it? It definitely can. The lovely warmth of the sun can turn into an unbearable heat even after twenty minutes of exposure, leaving your guests restless (not to mention sweaty) as they wait for you to walk down the aisle. You can alleviate your guests’ discomfort with some smart ideas that your guests will truly thank you for.
Hand Fans and Umbrellas Take the edge off the heat by providing hand fans or charming parasols in your wedding favors. Hand fans come in a variety of prints and colors that can match your wedding theme and will be a favorite item for your guests to stay cool. As for umbrellas, paper parasols are effective, but try limiting them to one per family or one for every two guests. Too many umbrellas may become distracting and may obstruct the view of the guests.
Stay Hydrated The heat can be dangerous, especially when there is a lack of water. Make sure your guests, caterers, wedding photographers, and DJs stay hydrated by providing access to coolers of water bottles or constant water service. Again, utilize your wedding favors as a mini survival kit for your guests by adding a small bottle of water to the arrangement. Wedding accessories often include personalized water bottle labels that you can add to the bottles so that they match the rest of your wedding decorations. Don’t forget that you and your groom stay hydrated throughout the day too!
Perfect Timing Want to avoid the blistering sun all together? Plan your wedding to take place in the late afternoon, right before the sun sets. Not only will this time of day be cooler, but it will also provide a romantic glow from the incoming dusk sky. If you’re worried that this setting will be too dim for the photographs, choose wedding decorations like whimsical hanging light garlands or an assortment of paper lanterns that will provide a warm and cozy setting against the fading sunlight.
Rain, Rain, Go Away Unfortunately, singing that song typically won’t make the rain go away. The heavy rain and thunderstorms of the summer are probably your worst enemies when it comes to planning a summer wedding. (Unless you’re in Texas in 2011 when rain would indeed be a blessing.) Don’t let the rain damper your special day by staying one step ahead of Mother Nature.
Have a Plan B Going for plan B doesn’t have to mean settling for something less than your fairytale wedding. Have an alternative indoor venue set aside just in case your outdoor venue gets rained out, and echo the essence of nature through your wedding decorations. Make sure this alternative venue is something you are happy with, so that in the rare occasion that plan B is the necessary route; you are still smiling under your wedding veil.
Take Cover An alternative to the alternative – pitch a tent. In the case that the rain isn’t so harsh, hold your wedding under a tent to take cover from the drizzle. Easily decorated with lights, garland, and leis to incorporate the couple’s unique story, these tents come in a variety of styles to suit your needs. Tents can also solve problem of the intense summer sun. Who knew taking a cue from the campsite would be such a good idea?
A summer wedding under the sun (or in the rain) can be beautiful and enjoyable even under extreme conditions. Accepting the challenge from Mother Nature and working around the heat and unexpected storms will be rewarding if you take the right precautions – so be bold and plan your wedding in the middle of the hottest July, you and your guests will be pleasantly surprised at how delightfully your special day will be.
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Whatever event you are producing, it is important to know what you want to accomplish. Is there a theme to consider or a specific sound you want to hear? Or, are you open to several genres? Do you want the crowd to be able to talk (and hear) during the event? Do you cherish a pounding horn section? What is the age range of the participants? What time of day is the event scheduled? Afternoon weddings generally don’t need dance bands. Small ensembles work perfectly well.
There are only a limited number of Saturday’s available, so popular bands and ensembles are often booked up to a year in advance. Every band or ensemble should have a music list and CD available for you to review. This will be helpful in deciding. You may want to ask if they are playing somewhere that would be appropriate for you to see them.
Music flows better at an event if the first hour or so allows for introductions, mingling and talking and is generally background. At some point, the band can pick up the pace for dancing. It is a good idea to have a liaison between the bride and groom and the band. This person can instruct the band when it is time to play the ”first dance” song. Many times the band leader will act as Master of ceremonies, announce the cake cutting, throwing of the bouquet, and the garter toss. The best man often is chosen as the liaison, since he will be close at hand to coordinate the order of events with the bride, groom and parents. This will help the day to flow smoothly for the bride and groom.
Be sure to ask about breaks. One band that we know of took such a long break in the middle of the event that the guests started to leave. One guest said, “it was never the same after that.” Most bands have recorded music to play during the breaks, so make sure there is no downtime. Also, check with the band to see if food should be provided to them. Food and beverage is often provided to the band during long events, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a formal dinner. This definitely should be added to the total for the caterer.
Here are some questions to ask you band before you decide to hire:
- Have you performed at weddings? Do you have references?
- When do you arrive and how much set-up time do you need?
- How many people are in your group?
- Do you handle requests?
- When do you take breaks? Do you provide music during the breaks?
- Have you played at my venue?
- Do you bring your own equipment? If so, what?
- Can I hear a demo with some of the music you will be performing at my wedding (or event)?
- What do you wear? Do I have choices in your attire?
These are a few ideas on hiring a band on your own. There is, however, another option. That is to talk with an experienced talent buyer who knows all of the top talent in town and the history and reputation of each group. He or she can also provide all of the demos, photos and information available on each band and can often negotiate a better price than you could get on your own. That way, you are guaranteed to have the most outstanding event possible.
By Alexandra Shimizu